New presidential poll shows Obama leading GOP field in Virginia

Posted at 3:30 AM, Feb 08, 2012
and last updated 2012-02-08 12:54:56-05

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – A new poll out by Quinnipiac University is showing President Obama with a lead on all of his Republican challengers in Virginia for the first time this election cycle.

The poll shows the president leading:

Mitt Romney 47%-43%

Newt Gingrich 51%-37%

Rick Santorum 49%-41%

Ron Paul 47%-40%.

Peter Brown, assistant director for the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute says the President’s current lead in this poll is based on improving support from independent voters.

“The Obama bump could be driven by the perception that the economy is improving.  And, the nasty GOP primary fight is not helping Romney, exposing swing voters to lots of negative attacks on him from within his own party,” Brown said in a press release.

When Quinnipiac last polled Virginia voters 53% said he did not deserve another term in office. Now that figure has dropped to 48%. In addition, a majority of women said he did deserve to be re-elected (51%).

In the race for the republican nomination, Romney holds a 68%-19% lead among likely GOP primary voters in Virginia. Neither Newt Gingrich nor Rick Santorum qualified for the ballot for the March 6th primary and were not included

In the race for U.S. Senate, neither presumptive candidates George Allen nor Tim Kaine appear to  have changed many minds. That race is still too close to call with Kaine leading 45%-44%, well within the margin of error of 2.5%. Since Quinnipiac started asking voters about the Senate race last summer neither candidate has held a statistically significant advantage.

Quinnipiac did not ask voters about the other candidates who have declared for the Senate race.